Jul 282016
 

Wendy was here this morning.  She shined and polished the TomCat, cleaned the counters and floors, remade the bed, and took a Mug Shot of me for you.  Today is the hottest day of the heat wave, with mid 90°s forecast.  Here’s that Mug Shot.

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A Better View of the Logo:

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Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:19 (average 5:26).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Our Next First Lady?

0728Bill

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that he hoped Russian intelligence services had successfully hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, and encouraged them to publish whatever they may have stolen, essentially urging a foreign adversary to conduct cyberespionage against a former secretary of state.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said during a news conference here in an apparent reference to Mrs. Clinton’s deleted emails. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Mr. Trump’s call was another bizarre moment in the mystery of whether Vladimir V. Putin’s government has been seeking to influence the United States’ presidential race.

His comments came amid questions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, which American intelligence agencies have told the White House they have “high confidence” was the work of the Russian government.

Now that he’s actually committing a crime, I’ll speculate some more. Is Rump Dump making this request, because Putin (R-RU) delivered on a previous hacking request? Why did Rump Dump tell GOP Pootie that, if elected, he will recognize the Crimea as Russian Territory, and lift US sanctions against him for invading Ukraine, of which the Crimea is part?  For what does Trump owe Putin?

From Crooks and Liars: Before the show is broadcast, Stephen Colbert usually takes questions from the audience. His reaction to a question by a female college student, "if you have Donald Trump on your show tonight, what would you ask him?” had the audience in stitches.

 

Great answer. It wouldn’t surprise me, if, asked the same question about hecklers at the Democratic National Convention, he responded, "What does Trump’s taste like?"

From Alternet: President Obama and VP Biden both spoke on the third night of the Democratic National Convention. But it was Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) who really caught John Oliver’s eye.

 

We Democrats are not so thin-skinned that we cannot laugh at our own.

Cartoon (originally posted 7/28/2014):

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Two years ago, I actually thought this was the absolute worst it could get.  Ha!

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Jul 272016
 

It is still hot and muggy! Today was up to 30 C and humidity over 70%.  At physio, I bike for a minimum of 20 minutes which really gets a sweat up with temperatures as high as they have been.  By the time I arrived home, I was ready for a cold shower.  The furbabes have basically abandonned me and are sleeping downstairs for much of the night.  Suppopsedly, temperatures are to go down through this long weekend, but I'll believe it when I feel it.  BTW TC, this Canadian long weekend was called a civic holiday across the country, but now, here in BC it is known as BC Day . . . just incase you are trying to add this to your calendar!

Short Takes

MSN.com — The U.N. weather agency says it suspects a 54-degree Celsius (129.2 Fahrenheit) temperature recorded in Kuwait has set a record for the eastern hemisphere.

A Kuwaiti man takes a shower to cool off 

YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images A Kuwaiti man takes a shower to cool off

The World Meteorological Organization said Tuesday it is setting up a committee to look into whether the temperature recorded Thursday in Mitrabah, Kuwait, was a new high for the hemisphere and in Asia. WMO's Omar Baddour says it's "likely" to be an eastern hemisphere record.

Now that is beyond hot!  Would the climate change and global warming deniers, who in the US are predominently Republicans, still deny global warming?  Perhaps we should send them to Mitrabah, Kuwait without the benefit of air conditioning and then ask them if their stance has changed after a week of this heat.  I wouldn't be surprised if the cool looking water of this man's shower were actually warm water.

Alternet — Chris Ladd is a Texan in exile. After growing up in Beaumont and working for more than a decade in Houston, he moved to suburban Chicago, where he is a Republican precinct committeeman.

He has a day job that he loves in the software industry. In his free time he has written for David Frum’s blog, the Washington Times Communities, the Houston Chronicle, and the Huffington Post.

Back in Texas he interned at the Legislature, worked on numerous state and local Republican campaigns, and volunteered for a statewide PAC. Chris graduated from Beaumont’s Central High, earned a degree from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas (the Harvard of Williamson County) and received his JD from the University of Houston.

He recently posted the following:

Chairman Cuzzone:

We come together in political parties to magnify our influence. An organized representative institution can give weight to our will in ways we could not accomplish on our own. Working with others gives us power, but at the cost of constant, calculated compromise. No two people will agree on everything. There is no moral purity in politics.  …

With three decades invested in the Republican Party, there is a powerful temptation to shrug and soldier on. Despite the bold rhetoric, we all know Trump will lose. Why throw away a great personal investment over one bad nominee? Trump is not merely a poor candidate, but an indictment of our character. Preserving a party is not a morally defensible goal if that party has lost its legitimacy.

Read Chris Ladd's entire letter HEREIt is very interesting and makes good points that don't show up in the Alternet article.  Not only is it an indictment of Donald Trump, but also of the Republican Party.  How many more Republicans will follow their conscience and step away from what the party has become?

CBC — Some of Canada's banks must stress test their ability to withstand a 50 per cent drop in housing prices in Metro Vancouver area and a 40 per cent drop in the Greater Toronto Area, the country's banking regulator says.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions also said Tuesday that the banks must all test for a 30 per cent downturn in valuations for all other areas of the country.

The OSFI said the test doesn't apply to the Big Six banks and HSBC. An OSFI spokesperson said the regulator and the Bank of Canada work together to conduct "regular macro" stress tests on the Big Six banks, which also do their own internal testing.

One of the major differences between the US and Canada is the strength of banking regulation.  IMO, Canada has a more robust regulatory regime.  It isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, however it did help avert a big crisis such as the US housing meltdown that occurred a few years ago.  But, housing prices in the two biggest markets, Metro Vancouver and Greater Toronto Area , have exploded over the past few years, such that ordinary people are almost unable to purchase a home. From CKNW.com:

"The benchmark price for a detached home in April in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley hit just over $1.4 million — which is a 30.1% increase over 2015.

The MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $844,800, a 25.3% increase compared to April 2015."

Because of this wild market, OSFI has mandated stress tests for all deposit and lending institutions.  Basically, what happens to the viability and stability of these institutions if there is a 30% or 50% market correction?  The stress tests are to help gage the affect of these anticipated corrections.  This whole issue is more than "just about housing prices".

There are also other factors in the mix for the "hot" housing market.  In British Columbia, the provincial government has finally taken action now that it has realised this a hot topic and there is an election next year.  Their 15% property purchase surcharge on foreign buyers is their attempt to address the problem.  However, this misses those who are resident in Canada already but hold very large deposits off shore.  Those people bring the cash in for the purchase, but the buyer is deemed a resident so not subject to the new tax.  Also, there are purchasers who are buying and then reselling before the first sale completes, at greatly inflated prices.  Some of this was being orchestrated by realtors.  Because the real estate boards were self governing, this aspect likewise exploded.  The boards in BC are now regulated by the government hoping to eliminate this activity.  Where it had been fairly easy to get a real estate license, no longer.  The provincial government is late to the party, but OSFI, a federal agency is trying to protect the overall health of the banking sector.

As a matter of disclosure, I was a senior lending manager in Metro Vancouver primarily involved in mortgage financing with several of the big 6 banks and HSBC.  When Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp (CMHC), a federal crown corporation created in 1946, introduced lower down payment criteria years ago, I was aghast because I could see problems.  Now that threshold has been restored.  If you want to see what CMHC does, go to CMHC (I set the link to English — all federal government websites are in French and English).  I hope I have not bored everyone with my commentary but as a 40+ year banker, 65% of it spent in mortgage financing, I become a little passionate.  Likewise, I believe in everybody having a reasonable chance to own their own home, which is why CMHC was originally created.

Politico — The nominee of the Republican Party — the party that takes credit for winning the Cold War — on Wednesday appeared to align himself with Russia over his Democratic opponent, in remarks that suggested to many he was urging Moscow to interfere in a U.S. election.

That break with longstanding bipartisan policy toward dealing with Russia, or any foreign nation, for that matter, succeeded in getting him the lion’s share of the media spotlight as Wednesday evening programming kicked off for rival Hillary Clinton’s Democratic National Convention. But it was a leap few fellow Republicans were ready to make — with some in the party suggesting it smacked of “treason.”

The backlash began immediately after Trump’s extended riff on Russia at a Wednesday morning press conference, in which he called for Russia to “find” and release 30,000 emails deleted from Clinton’s private email server. Trump went on to promise a better relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin if elected president, saying he’d “look at” easing sanctions and recognizing Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula—something at odds with current U.S. policy–but most of the focus came back to the emails.  …

“It’s bad enough he doesn’t understand the gravity of what he said, but that he’s giving encouragement to a hostile foreign power is unconscionable,” Nichols said. “I don’t think he’s joking. He doubled down on it. Once off the cuff, it’s a joke. Twice, it’s policy.”

How long are Republicans going to wait to whittle Drumpf down to size?  I hope his "dyed in the wool" supporters pay attention to this issue.  Drumpf has taken things way to far such that it is a national security problem.  Wouldn't it be great if he was charged with treason,  I have read a number of other pieces on this matter and on Drumpf's connections.  One article (I think Daily Kos) mentioned that American banks won't touch Drumpf and that he went to some Russian oligarchs for financing.  True or not?  But the specter of such and his failure to make his taxes public are only fueling the fire which with any luck will turn into a conflagration that will consume the Republican Party and send it into the dustbin of history.

My Universe — This is my favourite video.  Meet Kevin Richardson, lion whisperer, with one of his wild lionesses.  You can see more at http://www.lionwhisperer.co.za/

 

 

 

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Jul 272016
 

Today is a grocery delivery day, so I took my nap in the morning to be up when they arrive.  The hot muggy weather continues unabated.  I’m running late because of a snafu with my Outlook Calendar.  I added Canadian Holidays, and there are so damn many of them that they cause some of my real appointments to be hidden in the month view. There is on obvious way to remove them.  ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:12 (average 4:56).  To do it, click here. How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Snopes.com: …Clinton announced that Wasserman Schultz had subsequently "agreed to serve as honorary chair of [the Clinton] campaign’s 50-state program to gain ground and elect Democrats in every part of the country," adding that the former chair would "continue to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally"…

…This announcement was received by many as meaning that Schultz had been "promoted" to a position of "running the Hillary Clinton campaign," but others noted that the gesture was merely a symbolic courtesy:

Republicans and Regressives don’t seem to understand what honorary means, as so many are distorting it wildly. Other that no money, no staff and no power, it’s a great job.  It was intended only to give DWS the appearance of a normal exit.

From NY Times: American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence…

…The emails were released by WikiLeaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, has made it clear that he hoped to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency. It is unclear how the documents made their way to the group. But a large sampling was published before the WikiLeaks release by several news organizations and someone who called himself “Guccifer 2.0,” who investigators now believe was an agent of the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence service.

I’m not sure where, but I commented somewhere (probably here) that I would not take the story of the DNC emails seriously, until I had more confirmation than just the Regressive echo chamber sites. Now the story is confirmed, and as I have said, DWS should be driven from the party. However, it should be noted that Hillary Clinton has been requesting that DWS be removed for over a year, but Obama wanted to avoid the controversy. The second thing is that the purpose of the leak seems to be to discredit Hillary, even though there is no evidence to support any involvement by her in DWS’ unethical practices. Therefore I speculate that Donald Trump (R-Hades) and Vladimir Putin (R-RU) may have cooperated.

From PoliticusUSA: “I want to thank you for standing with us and supporting us, and we’d like to leave with you what God has given us: strength, love and peace,” Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, said in a moment of profound emotion Tuesday night, during the second session of the DNC.

“This isn’t about being politically correct. This is about saving our children,” Fulton said earlier, making it clear that asking for justice and saving lives is not asking people to be “politically correct”.

Fulton was speaking as a member of Mothers of the Movement, a group of women who lost their children due to gun violence or police brutality. They banded together at Hillary Clinton’s suggestion, in order to protect black Americans and reform our criminal justice system.

“You don’t stop being a mom when your child dies,” the mother of Jordan Davis said. Lucy McBath continued, “I lived in fear my son would die like this. I even warned him that because he was a young, black man he would meet people who didn’t value his life.”

“I am still Jordan Davis’s mother. His life ended the day he was shot and killed for playing loud music. But my job as his mother didn’t.”

Saying that Hillary Clinton invited the mothers to become a part of the solution, McBath said, “We’re going to keep building a future where police officers and communities of color work together in mutual respect to keep children like Jordan safe. Because the majority of police officers are good people doing a good job.”

Hear that? There was no demonizing of police.

The way those women told their stories in a loving, non-condemnatory way brought tears to my eyes.  They certainly were a contrast to the way in which Republican racists whooped and hollered in bloodthirsty glee to a speakers announcement that the all the cops that killed Freddie Gray had gotten off.

Cartoon:

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Jul 262016
 

Yesterday’s appointment with my Prosthetist went, well.  George seems more stable and my knee is healing.  When I returned home, I tackled that insurance snafu.  The fifth person to whom I spoke was the Billing Manager of the Radiation Oncologist, whose bill had been denied.  He said that they do have an approved referral, that there must be an error in the paperwork, and that he will get it approved.  That was almost painless.  Then I had to attend a community meeting  for Fair Market residents in my building.  And then I watched the convention.  That made George very nervous, and I has to assure him that this one is completely different from Rump Dump and his Rectumites.  Other than my normal chores, I have no more appointments this week.  That’s a good thing because it’s very hot and muggy.  Temperatures in the high 80°s and low 90°s are forecast for the next ten days and the humidity is sitting at 77%.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:50 (average 5:40).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Raw Story: [B]ernie Sanders fired up his supporters at the Democratic National Convention on Monday afternoon — until he mentioned the need to elect Hillary Clinton.

While Sanders drew cheers when he trashed Donald Trump during his address, the audience erupted into boos when he said that “we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.”

 

How disgusting! If those regressives truly backed Bernie, they would follow his lead, not boo him for telling the truth. Shame on those hypocrites!

From YouTube (MoveOn): Party of Trump: David Duke, KKK and White Supremacy

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

What’s the different between the GOP and KKK? Anymore, not a damn thing!!

From Salon.com: Comedian Sarah Silverman took the stage at the Democratic National Convention and announced that she “feels the Bern — but not to worry, she put some cream on it.” She later attacked those who, unlike her, refused to recognize that they’d be betraying what Sanders stood for if they don’t support Clinton.

Clearly frustrated by the chorus of boos and shouts from Sanders supporters, Silverman snapped: “Can I just say to the ‘Bernie or Bust’ people — you’re being ridiculous.”

 

That may be the best line to date.

From Miami Herald: After quitting her national Democratic Party leadership role amid furor over thousands of leaked emails, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz now faces the political battle of her lifetime back home in South Florida.

Wasserman Schultz resigned as Democratic National Committee chairwoman Sunday, strengthening the hand of her primary opponent, Tim Canova — who saw a huge fundraising boost and national media attention following her decision.

While the Weston congresswoman spent Monday morning getting heckled by protesters in Philadelphia at her first public appearance since her resignation, Canova was in the district giving interviews to local TV stations, Univision and The Daily Beast — and meeting with constituents.

In light of recent events, I fully endorse Tim Canova for Congress, and feel we should urge Jo Biden to cancel his planned fundraising event on behalf of Wasserman Schultz.  I trust the petition mavens among you will find the links for that.  There should be no place in the Democratic Party for Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Cartoon:

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Jul 252016
 

It was very hot and muggy today — 30 C (86 F) — so I tried to stay quiet in some air conditioning for as long as possible, then home to the heat.  It is 23:00 hours and the temperature is still 22 C (72 F) with high humidity.  This week will be busy as I have physio, pastoral care calls to make, teaching and 2 medical appointments.  I hope it doesn't stay hot and humid this week.  Later — My wi-fi connection shut down before I could finish and post last night so this is 10 hours late in getting up.

Short Takes

Politicususa — Donald Trump is facing a new complaint that his use of the Trump Organization to do his campaign work is a violation of federal law.

The Democratic Coalition Against Trump announced their FEC complaint against the GOP nominee in a statement:

This morning the Democratic Coalition Against Trump filed a federal campaign complaint against Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign with the Federal Elections Commission. The complaint alleges five violations including illegally accepting direct corporate contributions, accepting services from a volunteer that were actually compensated, use of the Trump corporate name or trademark to facilitate campaign contributions, illegal use of corporate facilities by a campaign volunteer, and knowingly allowing volunteers to exceed the transportation expense limit.

The question is, will the FEC recognise this as the violation it is, or will it be bullied by Trump?  If I recall correctly, the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan, Scott Walker, faced similar charges.

CBC — It is difficult to imagine that a democratic system has ever existed without some amount of exaggeration, cynicism and frivolity. For that matter, politics should not exclusively be the domain of serious wonkery. Some amount of theatre is natural and useful. Generous amounts of humanity are welcome. Anger and conflict are inevitable.

But ideally a nation's politics would not be predominantly cynical and frivolous, would not be defined by its worst aspects. What excesses of rhetoric or action did occur would be corrected for. And, over time, the system would improve, not fall into disrepair or despair.

An untrusted or unserious system is perhaps ripe for revolt or abuse.  …

Trump is destroying the generally accepted norms of American politics, and expanding the parameters of what a politician could get away with saying in a way that will have lasting impact on the United States. That suggests our democracies are more fragile than we might otherwise appreciate.

Some say that Canada and the US are the same, few differences at all.  I see the two countries as being quite different with some commonalities.  In the article, my former Member of Parliament, James Moore, Conservative, was "asked about Trump's relevance to Canadian conservatives and offered two other observations. First, that Trump isn't a conservative. Second, that the Conservative Party learned in 2015 that conservatism needs to be matched with optimism."  Looking south, I certainly do not see the optimism of which Moore speaks.  What I see is more doom and gloom, outright fear, coming from Republicans.

Alternet — The GOP’s new big dog blew the whistle Thursday night for nearly an hour and a half and it was loud and shrill enough to reach the ears of every angry, resentful, disaffected white American. The tone was divisive, dark, dystopian and grim. Here was the alpha dog of the von Trump family, baying at a blood-red moon that the hills are alive with the sounds of menace. According to Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, this land is rapidly becoming as bleak and dangerous as one of those twisted, vicious kingdoms in Game of Thrones, a place filled with violent crime and despair, a smoldering ruin overrun with foreigners out to take our jobs and terrorists bent on destroying our villages. It’s mourning in America. And only he can save us. This has been his message all year: I alone can fix it. Remember his tweet on Easter morning? “Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women & children. At least 67 dead,400 injured. I alone can solve."  …

But as Washington Post fact checkers Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee noted: “The dark portrait of America that Donald J. Trump sketched… is a compendium of doomsday stats that fall apart upon close scrutiny. Numbers are taken out of context, data is manipulated, and sometimes the facts are wrong. “When facts are inconveniently positive — such as rising incomes and an unemployment rate under 5 percent — Trump simply declines to mention them.

Here is a video from the Washington Post fact checking Trump's Thursday evening convenmtion speech.  Click HERE to view video.  Unfortunately, I could not imbed it.  Elizabeth Warren commented to Stephen Colbert that she didn't think Democrats were taking Trump seriously enough and that he is a dangerous individual, especially when he is so divisive and hateful.  I was amused by some of his early words in his acceptance speech at the RNC: (full transcript from syracuse.com incase you want to scan it without having to listen to his voice)

"It is finally time for a straightforward assessment of the state of our nation. I will present the facts plainly and honestly. We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.

So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully-crafted lies, and the media myths—the Democrats are holding their convention next week. But here, at our convention, there will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else."

When did Drumpf become acquainted with any truth?

VOTE BLUE ALL THE WAY DOWN THE LINE!

being all in for hillaryAll in with Hillary!

My Universe —

cat8Hi! How ya doin'!

52f180dc-7b40-4fb4-8928-2449da34548dCat trap working!

 

 

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Jul 252016
 

I hoped to have time for some short takes, but when I return from my Prosthetist, I have a medical mess to clean up.  Between my Ocular Oncologist, my Radiation Oncologist, and my substitute Primary Care doctor, they neglected to get the referral paperwork filled out for the Radiation Oncologist to make the plaque that was inserted behind my eye, so my claim was denied.  Now I have to figure out who needs to do what to correct their errors.  ARGH!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:03 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Cartoon:

0725Cartoon

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Jul 242016
 

I’m writing early and did my research yesterday evening, because this is one of Wendy’s long mornings, and I expect her shortly.  (Now she’s gone and I’m freshened.  Tomorrow, please expect no more than a Personal Update, as I have an appointment with my Prosthetist.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:58 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Alternet: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) told Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show" last night that she thinks America is very much underestimating Donald Trump.

"[Trump] is one dangerous man and we need to take him really seriously," Warren told Colbert.

Elizabeth Warren is a Democratic superdelegate and is speaking on behalf of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention Monday.

 

As always, Liz Warren is spot-on.

From Think Progress: The NBA announced Thursday that it will no longer hold its All-Star Game in Charlotte next year because North Carolina state lawmakers refused to backtrack on HB2, the anti-transgender law passed earlier this year. Though the event would have had a $100 million impact on the city, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) simply doesn’t care if that’s what it takes to keep HB2 on the books.

The Fascist Republican Theocracy of McCrorystan is revolting, and hopefully its people will revolt.

From Raw Story: While panels on HBO’s Real Time can become contentious, Fridays night’s discussion about voting rights went completely out of control as a former GOP lawmaker went to war with columnist Ana Marie Cox and actress/activist America Ferrera.

 

When Bill doesn’t have time to be funny, you KNOW to pay attention!

Cartoon:

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Jul 232016
 

I need to take the day off.  Because of my bad vision, I misjudged the best angle to return to the sidewalk from the crosswalk on the way to PT yesterday.  My chair dipped, bucked, almost threw me out, and folded George underneath, straining my knee.  At PT, I tried to do some exercises, but the pain became too intense.  I spent the rest of the PT session with ice in the knee.  Today promises to be a hot, muggy day, and I just need to take a day to heal and recharge my batteries.  Hugs to all!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:05 (average 4:29).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Cartoon:

0723Cartoon

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Jul 222016
 

I’m leaving shortly for my Physical Terrorist appointment, although I doubt whether Courtney and I will accomplish much.  I did sleep better last night, but an insulin delivery and a fire drill wrecked my afternoon nap.  I still have several days of sleep deficit.  In addition, George is still off kilter, and my Prosthetist appointment isn’t until Monday.  My hands still hurt, and my vision is driving me nuts.  That said, others have it far worse than I.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:37 (average 5:18).  To do it, click here..  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: …That’s right. Trump will unify the races around statements like this:

“I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is; I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”

The “laziness” statement came after Donald Trump started having financial difficulties at his casinos in Atlantic City. Trump’s response? He had black accountants.

Rump Dump will unify the races, but non-whites will be unified behind barbed wire.

From NY Times: In the dark for days, Fox News staffers finally got word on Thursday about the future of their network.

The news was delivered in person by Rupert Murdoch, the 85-year-old media mogul who started Fox News with Roger Ailes 20 years ago.

It was an unexpected visit, and with stunned employees listening in Fox’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters, Mr. Murdoch announced that Mr. Ailes was out as chairman and chief executive. Mr. Murdoch himself would be taking over Fox News in the interim.

I predicted that Ailes would be replaced by someone at least equally despicable as he is. Voila!!

From The New Yorker:

Trump was jubilant Thursday night after accomplishing his goal of delivering a speech that no one will ever want to plagiarize, Trump aides confirmed.

According to his staff, Trump and his speechwriters had been working overtime during the week to create a tirade that was sufficiently bloated, unhinged, and terrifying to discourage potential plagiarists from reusing excerpts in the future.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, said that, right until the hour the candidate took the stage, the billionaire’s writing team was scrubbing the speech of any marginally coherent passages that might prove tempting to plagiarists.

“There was one sentence toward the beginning that had traces of humanity and rational thought,” Manafort said. “Fortunately, we caught it in time.”

Andy, I wouldn’t watch it myself, but it sounds like you nailed it, especially the quote from Manafart.

Cartoon:

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We still need an updated model for Republicans.

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Jul 222016
 

This week has been fairly slow and I am enjoying that because I know it won't always be that way.  It has been rather humid and promised thunderstorms did not materialise — well the thunder could be heard but no rain.  Today was 31 C (88 F) with significant humidity.  Friday afternoon and the weekend are supposed to be hot — Arrggghhhh!!!!!  My laptop internet connection died on Tuesday.  I had to call Telus support who were able yesterday afternoon to get me up and running again.  Turned out that the powerbar into which my modem is plugged went TU.  I moved the power source and voilà, Houston we had lift off.  Now to buy a new powerbar and switch over my desktop which was also on the same failed powerbar.  Wouldn't it be nice to plug ourselves into a powerbar to increase energy!  I had a great "girls lunch out" date today and of course we got to talking about Drumpf.  No surprise, none of my white, elderly lady friends like Drumpf!  I guess we're just so social democratic!  I have teaching tomorrow with Lucia, but my other student is busy settling in since moving into a new house, so no teaching.  During the day, her husband, my physiotherapist, is busy working so settling in is slow. 

Short Takes

CBC — He's been called a kiss-up and a Mexican Uncle Tom, and he has felt anger from many within the Hispanic community, but Marco Gutierrez, a member of Latinos for Trump, forges ahead with full-fledged support for the Republican presidential nominee.

In many ways, he's no different from supporters here at the Republican National Convention who admire Trump's business credentials, who see him as a natural leader and who believe that he will, as the campaign slogan boasts: "Make America Great Again." …

Marco Gutierrez, a member of Latinos for Trump, says his internet-based group has 20,000 members.

C.J. Jordan, deputy director of political and community affairs for the Republican National Convention, said people need to understand that what is said during the heat of political battle does not necessarily represent one's views.

"… people need to understand that what is said during the heat of political battle does not necessarily represent one's views."???  Then what does it represent?  A political campaign is an opportunity to get to know a candidate, to get to the issues, to set a direction for the future if the candidate is elected.  IMO, clearly the people in this article are delusional, bought and paid for by the Trump campaign and the Republican Party.  They don't see the degree of racism and bigotry in the Republican platform.  Now THAT is scary!

Montréal Gazette — Everywhere he went, the prime minister solemnly remembered Ukraine’s past. He laid a wreath at the memorial complex recalling the many millions of victims of the genocidal Great Famine of 1932-33 in Soviet Ukraine, the Holodomor. He recalled the millions of Ukrainians who fought and died for their country during the Second World War, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And he paid his respects to the victims of the Nazis at Babyn Yar.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his son, Xavier pay their respects to the victims of the 1932-1933 great famine at the Holodomor famine memorial in Kyiv, Ukraine, on July 11, 2016 ANATOLII STEPANOV / AFP/Getty Images

Fittingly, Trudeau also directed attention to today’s Ukraine.

his first state visit to Ukraine, would not be his last. What I realized at that very moment was that Trudeau gets it, that he knows Ukrainians are today fighting and dying for the very same values that Canadians have always defended.

Countries formerly within the Soviet sphere are feeling the pressure of growing Russian aggression.  Of course, Ukraine is especially wary since they have already dealt with Russian aggression in Crimea . . . and it is not over yet.  Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, on his first state visit to Ukraine, explained to his son Xavier what happened in 1932-33 in Ukraine — the Great Famine.  It is another example of genocide from the 20th century . . . "man's inhumanity towards man."  This genocide is referred to as Holodomor. 

Holodomor "…was a man-made famine in the Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that killed an estimated 2.5–7.5 million Ukrainians, … Since 2006, the Holodomor has been recognized by the independent Ukraine and 14 other countries as a genocide of the Ukrainian people carried out by the Soviet Union. …but believe it was a long-term plan of Joseph Stalin, an attempt to eliminate the Ukrainian independence movement. … arguing that actions such as rejection of outside aid, confiscation of all household foodstuffs, and restriction of population movement confer intent, defining the famine as genocide; the loss of life has been compared to the Holocaust."

Will humanity ever learn?

Foreign Policy — Seldom does the global public have an opportunity to observe an endangered species in its natural habitat, but this week, wildlife enthusiasts received a rare glimpse into the poignant final days of the American Republican elephant.

Classified as "critically endangered" by international authorities, Elaphantidae republicanus, though native to the United States, has struggled for decades to adapt to its rapidly evolving biome.  The enormous pachyderm — once a noble animal that roamed the length and breadth of the nation, as common in America's cities as in it's rural areas — has, in recent years, seen its numbers dwindle and its habitat contract.

Georgetown University law professor, Rosa Brooks, has written this "as a naturalist's guide to the endangered American Republican elephant".  Although humourous, it certainly has the ring of truth.  If you are unable to read the entire article unless you "sign in", you can sign up and read 5 free articles per month — no cost.

Alternet — The Republican Party platform is a wish list for what Republicans in Congress and Donald Trump would like to impose on America. What’s surprising is that it goes further to the right than what’s even been heard on the campaign trail from Trump as he has promised to build a wall along the Mexican border and embrace the religious right’s long-held tenets opposing abortion, LGBT rights and more.

The GOP 2016 platform would make Christianity the official American religion, English the official American language, replace sex education with abstinence-only advice for teenagers, privatize almost all areas of federal services, cut taxes and regulations for the rich and titans of industry, and impose a belligerent foreign policy and military build-up.

Here are 50 excerpts from the 2016 GOP platform.

9. Appoint anti-choice Supreme Court justices: "Only  a  Republican  president  will  appoint  judges  who  respect  the  rule  of  law  expressed within the Constitution and Declaration of  Independence,  including  the  inalienable  right  to life and the laws of nature and nature’s God, as did the late Justice Antonin Scalia."

10. Appoint anti-LGBT and anti-Obamacare justices: "Only such appointments will enable courts to begin to reverse the  long  line  of  activist  decisions  —  including  Roe, Obergefell, and the Obamacare cases — that have  usurped  Congress’s  and  states’  lawmaking  authority."

11. Legalize anti-LGBT discrimination: "We endorse the First Amendment Defense Act, Republican legislation in the House and Senate which  will  bar  government  discrimination  against  individuals and businesses for acting on the belief that  marriage  is  the  union  of  one  man  and  one  woman."

12. Make Christianity a national religion: "We  support  the  public  display  of  the  Ten  Commandments as a reflection of our history and our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage and further affirm the rights of religious students to engage in voluntary prayer at public school events and to have equal access to school facilities."

13. Loosen campaign finance loopholes and dark money: "Freedom of speech includes the right to devote resources  to  whatever  cause  or  candidate  one  supports. We oppose any restrictions or conditions that would discourage citizens from participating in the  public  square  or  limit  their  ability  to  promote  their ideas, such as requiring private organizations to publicly disclose their donors to the government."

14. Loosen gun controls nationwide: "We  support  firearm  reciprocity  legislation  to  recognize  the  right  of  law-abiding  Americans to carry firearms to protect themselves and  their  families  in  all  50  states.  We  support  constitutional  carry  statutes  and  salute  the  states  that  have  passed  them.  We  oppose  ill-conceived  laws  that  would  restrict  magazine  capacity  or  ban  the  sale  of  the  most  popular  and  common  modern rifle."

15. Pass an anti-choice constitutional amendment: "We  assert  the  sanctity  of  human  life  and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a  human  life  amendment  to  the  Constitution  and  legislation  to  make  clear  that  the  Fourteenth  Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth."

These are just 7 of the 50 Republican platform planks.  Read through the remaining 43.  I don't think there is anything that we have not heard of or discussed in some form previously.  IMO, these provisions make a mockery of the very foundations of the US and the documents that Americans hold dear — the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  Republicans would control every aspect of life.  Can you say Fascism?  This is not what the Founders fought for.

1.Fascism

a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, a capitalist economy subject to stringent governmental controls, violent suppression of the opposition, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.  Any right-wing nationalist ideology or movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism

b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.
 
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